While it may ultimately be about whether or not you have the critical skills employers are looking for
, interviews are all about making the right first impression. Knowing how to convey what you know can be difficult in a limited window of conversation with relative strangers, especially when you feel the pressure of trying to impress them.
While a little bit of nervousness can sometimes give you an edge, too much anxiety can rob you of confidence and mental clarity, thus diminishing your chances of having a successful interview. Although it may be impossible to get rid of your anxiety altogether, there are specific steps you can take to assuage your nerves, calm yourself down, and allow your personality and knowledge to shine through.
At Kinetic, we understand the anxieties and pitfalls that job-seekers face in interviews. We know how stressful it can be, but we also understand why employers look for confidence and poise in their candidates.
With that in mind, here are five key strategies for dealing with interview stress that will enable you to stand out from other candidates
1. Do Your Research
One of the biggest keys to managing your nerves in an interview is knowing what to expect, which means knowing what you’re interviewing for. Understanding the history of the company and what they’ve achieved (as well as what they hope to achieve) is crucial for knowing what you can bring to the table.
In addition to understanding what services the company offers and who their clients are, you should learn as much as you can about the duties and expectations around the role you’ve applied for. For instance, if you’re interviewing for a role as a sales manager with a pharmaceutical company
, you should ideally seek to understand the ways in which you’ll be expected to engage with local KOLs.
You should also consider how your values align with the company’s; for example, if you’re an expat interviewing with a company that places heavy emphasis on Emiratisation, you should seek to understand where you might fit in their company culture as well as what skills you can bring to the table that a UAE national might not have.
The more you understand about the company’s needs and goals and where you might be able to fit in, the more likely you are to project a calm and confident demeanour during your interview.
2. Prepare a List of Questions
Just as important as researching the company is coming away with questions that will help you learn more about it. Your research will likely reveal more questions than answers; therefore, as you learn about the company, you should make a running list of questions that you may want to ask in your interview.
Remember, at some point, your interviewer will expect you to ask questions, and you’ll want to show them that you’ve given careful thought to both the position and their company. While active listening and genuine curiosity during the course of the interview might naturally yield some great questions that you might not have thought of beforehand, it’s always good to have a list
to fall back on just in case.
3. Rehearse with a Mock Interview
In addition to making a list of questions for your interviewer, you should also brainstorm the kinds of questions they are likely to ask you. Try to anticipate what kinds of questions you might be asked and practice answering these. You can also find many great resources online, listing both general and more critical interview questions. However, it isn’t enough to simply think about how you might answer these questions.
You should ideally conduct one or two mock interviews with a friend or relative playing the role of the interviewer. Failing this, you could even interview yourself out loud in front of a mirror. Better yet, video yourself with your phone, so that you can play it back and critique yourself. While just the thought of this might make you cringe, it can be an extremely effective tool for lowering your anxiety and improving your performance.
4. Stay Calm & Don’t Rush
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s an easy one to neglect. Not feeling rushed or flustered is hugely important in terms of keeping your stress in check. Make sure you know exactly how to get to your interview and give yourself more than enough time to get there, ensuring that you account for any traffic or other possible delays. No matter how much of a people person you might be, arriving late and agitated to your interview is not only going to make you feel stressed and anxious; it will likely ruin any chances you might have had of getting the job.
This advice doesn’t just apply to getting to your interview; try to take your time when answering questions, as well. This doesn’t mean waffling on endlessly or taking dramatically long pauses before or during your answers. It means being yourself, pacing yourself, and remembering to breathe. Remember, at the end of the day, an interview is really just a conversation
5. Try To Understand Your Future Employer’s Needs
While projecting confidence is important, being overly confident can do more harm than good. Boasting or bragging is an immediate red flag to most potential employers. Rather than trying to impress your interviewer, you should channel your nervous energy towards connecting and empathising with them. By focusing on connecting with people rather than on performance (or worrying about how they perceive you), you’ll be more at ease and more confident – you’ll also come across as likeable.
When you shift the focus of the interview onto the needs of your potential employer, you’re not only showing genuine interest; you’re also likely to inspire their confidence
in you as a potential employee. While they may have something you want, you also have something they need. It’s helpful to keep in mind that you are also interviewing them; understanding what hiring managers are looking for
and knowing how your skills can address their needs will give you a winning edge in an interview.
Finally, be relaxed, be calm and be yourself. If you’ve done all of the above steps, then you should be in the best possible shape to make the right first impression. Good luck!
How Kinetic Can Help
At Kinetic we pride ourselves on being the leading regional experts in the full range of recruitment solutions for the Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices industries.
As such, we understand the niche requirements for all specialisms of this ever-increasing regulated industry. To find out more about how we can help you in landing your next career progression, contact us